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Ultrium 2 448 strange behavior

 
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New Member

Ultrium 2 448 strange behavior

Hi,
I'm having problems with this tape driver.
After have moved both server and tape driver from one phisical location to another problems have started.
Backup script (unmanaged) works no more, tape with previously backup are no more recognize, sometimes tape led starts flashing.
I've tried to make some tests with StorageWorks, but it told me that the tape (not drive) may be damaged and to try another one (and, if I change it, It tells me again the same message).
I've tried to re-install the firmware (already the latest version)... with no luck.
It seems that, once i load a cartdrige (removable storage service stopped and even if server power off!) it took a long time to recognize the tape (minutes...). Then, often the Clean led start flashing (i've made 3/4 clean after request in these days).
If the Removable Storage service is started the tape is marked as new (with a number). Unfortunatly, if I mark it as free and try to make an "interactive" NTbackup, Ntbackup try to mount the tape and wait almost forever.
I think my drive is gone... but how can I make a definitive test to prove it?

Thanx in advance.
7 REPLIES 7
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Respected Contributor

Re: Ultrium 2 448 strange behavior

Odd behaviour indeed.

It sounds like something has gone out of alignment internally during the move. Was the drive shipped with a tape in it, or empty? Tape drives should be shipped with no cartridge present, for what that is worth now.

I would suggest you download and run HP's Library and Tape Tools (see the link under Value Added Software on http://www.hp.com/go/tape ). One of the icons will let you run some diagnostic tests and generate a support ticket, which can help you or HP diagnose the problem.

Just for my information, is this drive by itself, or in a library? What connection type does it use -- pSCSI or SAS? Check your SCSI cable (if used) and make sure that none of the pins are bent or missing.

Is it possible that your cleaning tape is 'used up'? They have a limited number of cleaning cycles that they are rated for.

Are you using the exact same cable as you were before? If you're using a different cable, perhaps it has a fault, or exceeds the maximum supported distance.
--
Liberty breeds responsibility; Government breeds dependence
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New Member

Re: Ultrium 2 448 strange behavior

Thank's Tomas.
I think I move the drive with a tape in it... but It was a very shor trip, just 2 floors long and I've taken it with my hands!
I think StorageWorks is the software you are talking about, unfortunately It seems not to give me a definitive analysis. Sometimes it tells me that the problem could be the tape, other something else.
Internal diagnostic has passed, but "Health" status tells that there could be some problems with the tape and to try to change it (and you get the same response).
Tape clean is not expired, the same software check the cartdrige and tells how many cleaning are ramaining (about 20 and made 6), with no warnings about the cardrige (in fact when i Clean the drive, the clean led stop flashing).
Should I try to save some reports with this sofware and send them to support?
We have already replaced a fault drive in 2 years. Warranty has expired and, If I don't solve the problem, I think I'll move to a different backup system.

Thank you again.

Regards,
Marco
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Respected Contributor

Re: Ultrium 2 448 strange behavior

It's certainly worth the time to generate a support ticket and post it here. There may be something easily seen there that will help you out.
--
Liberty breeds responsibility; Government breeds dependence
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New Member

Re: Ultrium 2 448 strange behavior

Hi,
Here attached you can find some logs. Some notes:

1) After a (required) cleaning I made an Health test, everthing seems to be good

2) I made an Assestment test, and it seems that the tape is bad (I've tried some other tape in the past, nothing change)

3) I made a support ticket

4) Another Health test

Hope you know what happens...
Thanx.

Marco
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Trusted Contributor

Re: Ultrium 2 448 strange behavior

For some reason I can't open the attachment.

The assessment test typically asks to run the test twice with two different tapes so it can be sure any issue is with the drive or the tape. If you've done that and the test says it's the tape then one of your test runs must have been OK.

Another thing to try is the device performance test. Use as good a tape as you can find and do a full volume performance test. Make sure the read phase option is set too. This will take a while but will give you a full volume write/read test after which you can pull a ticket again and post please. That will give us a good view on the internals of your drive.

LTT should be able to give you a definitive answer as long as you follow what it says.

Carrying the drive even with a tape in is fine as long as it's not knocked. Be cautious of any potential contamination in its new environment.

It's also possible that contamination from its old environment has been knocked in. You never know.

The test above with ticket will tell us quite a bit.

Thanks, Richard (LTT PM)
It's more interesting when it's gone wrong
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New Member

Re: Ultrium 2 448 strange behavior

First of all, I finally get a message:
"The drive is no longer recommended for use.".
So, I think investingating is no more needed.

Anyway, here what I've done:

1) Clean (tape and clean leds were flashing), insert a not-so-many-times used cartdrige and made an Assessment test.
Test failed and clean has become flashing again.

2) Loaded a different Cartdrige, made a new test failed due cleaning request

3) Set to "ignore Cleaning" and made a new test

4) Clean again

5) Health function, to see if the clean cartdrige was ok (and it was)

6) Last one Assestment test, that returned a drive failure

7) Performance test, failed after 2 alerts

Personally, I think It's a mechanical problem. When I load a cardrige, drive seems to try to rewind the tape, but I think it can't do it. It seems that "tape is rewind for a while, stops, rewind faster for a while, stops" many times. Then I think it tries to make a soft unload and reload... and so on.

I think I'll move to a different backup system based on something else than an Tape drive. This is the second failure we have (the first was warranty covered) and I think there are some other cheaper and reliable way to backup our company data (about 500 Mb)... maybe a set of usb external drives!

Thank you all.

Regards,
Marco
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Trusted Contributor

Re: Ultrium 2 448 strange behavior

It does look like this drive can't write at all now. It's loaded OK otherwise it would give up and unload straight away - you wouldn't get as far as being able to run the assessment test but the drive logs show that it's having a terrible time trying to write data in the test.

I'm amazed that this has happened just after you've moved it. I can only imagine there was some dirt that got dislodged and is now on the heads. I'm afraid the drive really is dead...

One last chance - and this is only worth doing at a time like this (with no warranty) - is to try cleaning the heads directly with alcohol being very careful not to knock anything out of alignment. You should be able to reach with a swab through the door. This has to be a dirt problem rather than alignment. Worth a go I guess.

Using USB disks for backup is probably OK but they're not as reliable as you might think. Maybe download a SMART diag tool to keep an eye on them and make at least two copies. Do you have any data that needs to be kept longer? That's the real value of tape - being able to keep permenant records on a shelf.

Good luck, whatever you choose to do.

It's more interesting when it's gone wrong